[arin-ppml] Multihomed Microallocations

William Herrin bill at herrin.us
Tue Aug 4 08:56:37 EDT 2009

On Mon, Aug 3, 2009 at 11:43 PM, Owen DeLong<owen at delong.com> wrote:
> I'm not opposed to extending this ability to ISPs if there is a need, but,
> at present, I think that when you are talking about reassignable
> space, a /21 is already a pretty small chunk. If I'm wrong about this,
> I welcome people to set me straight.

Hi Owen,

Lots of comments. I'll try to take them one at a time.

The way I see it, there is no compelling reason to pre-suppose what
the ISP's needs are. If he needs a /21 and can document that need,
he'll surely ask for a /21. If he's a co-op serving a neighborhood,
maybe he only needs a /24.

> The requesting organization must hold exactly one AS number
> and must already announce IPv4 addresses to the Internet via BGP using
> its AS number.
> I'm not sure I understand the need to exclude the following classes of
> organizations from this policy:
> 1. Organizations which are obtaining their AS number and IPv4 resources
> at the same time as part of a start-up process.

These folks are not excluded; they're just given extra work. Instead
of merely claiming they're going to multihome as they start up, they
have to actually do it. 24 hours after they first announce the ISP /24
they can apply for an ARIN /24 and ARIN is pretty zippy about
completing allocations.

> 2. Organizations which may wish to utilize their ability to qualify under
> IPv4 policy for obtaining IPv6 space, but, which have no desire to
> obtain or implement IPv4.

That only applies to end users and is, IMHO, a defect in the IPv6
policy. The appropriate place to correct it is in the IPv6 policy but
the AC will have to actually carry such a proposal to a meeting and
seek consensus before that can happen.

> Noteworthy, it also excludes organizations holding more than one AS number,
> but, that is presumably to discourage fragmentation of the allocation/assignment.

My point of view was that if you're holding more than one AS number
then you're already past the point where you should be seeking
allocations and assignments below the existing minimums.

> The requesting organization must spend at least $8000/year on
> the Internet services in
> I think this requirement is absurd.  First of all, as the price of transit
> continues to fall (currently transit is available for as little
> as $2/mbps on 95th %ile billing) requiring some arbitrary
> price per year (here $333/provider/month) could easily
> become anachronistic.
> Second, in general ARIN policy tries to avoid dictating business
> models or practices, and, requiring paid transit at all (vs. settlement
> free peering as a viable counter-example) seems odd.

I'm open to altering or dropping it entirely if folks feel
it's unwanted and unneeded. But I'd offer two points:

1. The existing minimums are a harmful and backwards way of applying a
limit on how much money you have to spend to participate. We know that
routing slots are an expensive resource, so why not tackle that issue
more directly instead of placing odd technical requirements that hit
it only indirectly?

2. The number isn't arbitrary; it's based on the only available
estimate of the cost of BGP routing which for all its faults has
actually been reviewed by a professional cost analyst. It could become
anachronistic over time, but so what? Like any ARIN policy its subject
to update at need.

> The requesting organization must agree to withdraw any other
> BGP routes it announces from the BGP table within 6 months of
> receiving an allocation or assignment under section 4.4. If the
> organization continues to receive IP addresses from its ISPs, those IP
> addresses will be single-homed within the ISP's larger aggregate
> announcement.
> 6 months might be  a bit hasty here.  I think current ARIN address
> replacement policies allow a longer timeframe and I think this
> should be consistent.

If the consensus is 12 months I'm fine with moving it there.

> If the requesting organization fails to announce the
> allocation or assignment received under section 4.4 to the Internet
> using its AS number for at least 4 months total within a service year,
> the allocation or assignment is revoked and returned to ARIN.
> Does this mean that ARIN is expected to monitor such announcements?
> Is there a defined test point which is considered valid from which the
> routes must be visible? By what objective mechanism and criteria
> can this actually be measured?

>From my "implementation notes" towards the end of the rationale section:

Verifying that there's a BGP announcement is trivial: go to any of the
hundreds of looking glasses. For the four-month rule, staff may want
to let it be practiced in the breach for now. That is, don't go out
and look unless someone complains. Writing software that actively
checks for it can be part of the address recovery strategy after

Same deal with the route withdrawals: if slot consumption bugs the
ISPs, let them write a script which trolls for cheaters and then

As for how you'd write the software down the road, getting copies of
various table views is not particularly hard. A number of researchers
currently do it. If the route isn't in any of them then whatever the
registrant is doing, it isn't what the policy intended.

> Depending on where you measure this $8,000/year, it also could
> eliminate folks who connect via exchange points or live in carrier
> hotels and get inexpensive transit by other perfectly legitimate
> means. I understand the theory here, but, in my opinion, it is not
> the role of ARIN policy to dictate economics or business practices.

You can go to Vegas, stay in the discounted rooms in the casino hotels
and play the quarter slots. You can also sit at the high stakes table,
but if you do you have to ante up.

BGP on the backbone is the Internet's high stakes table. Arranging for
your connectivity costs to rise to $8k/year is always trivially done.
Instead of counting computers, I suggest using your willingness to
ante up to determine whether you're allowed to sit at the table.

Of course, if you can somehow justify a /22 without spending at least
$8k per year on connectivity then more power to you.

Besides, if you live in a carrier hotel, you're paying for cross
connects or access to the peering switch. That's generally not cheap
and is very obviously part of the connectivity costs.

> Q. Does this proposal affect IPv6 allocations and assignments?
> A. It does not appear to impact ISP allocations whose criteria is
> spelled out in NRPM section It does impact end user
> assignments under NRPM section End users who qualify for
> addresses under this policy will also be qualified for an IPv6 /48.
> However, it also precludes a network from qualifying under this
> policy and deploying IPv6 without IPv4 resources deployed.
> While this may not be a significant issue today, it does shorten
> the potential valid lifespan of this policy.

That's not a defect with this policy proposal per se. Rather it's a
defect with the IPv6 policy for end users which should be addressed
there. Here it's just a red herring like the spammer issue was for
proposal 2007-6.

This particular policy proposal need not outlive IPv4.

On Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 3:55 AM, Leo Vegoda<leo.vegoda at icann.org> wrote:
> I read this section differently from you. I'm not sure if my interpretation
> was the intended one but I thought the $8k/year would also include the costs
> of hardware and related licenses and support contracts. That is, $8k was for
> the cost of routers, software licenses, vendor support and connectivity to
> two or more other ASs.

Hi Leo,

My intention was that the $8k be restricted to ISP connectivity costs
but if folks feel it would be more fair to include some other costs
such as routers or data center charges, I would not object to
adjusting it.

Alternately, we could punt here: specify "qualifying Internet costs"
in the policy and ask ARIN staff to determine which costs qualify as
contributing to the system from which the registrant consumes a
routing slot. The $50 DSL user isn't going to spend $8k per year on
Internet service no matter how you qualify the costs, and that's who
we really want to keep out of the backbone.

Bill Herrin

William D. Herrin ................ herrin at dirtside.com  bill at herrin.us
3005 Crane Dr. ...................... Web: <http://bill.herrin.us/>
Falls Church, VA 22042-3004

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